Landmark Mini-Series Kafka Commemorates the Legacy of Franz Kafka
As the world prepares to mark the 100th death anniversary of the renowned German-language writer Franz Kafka in June 2024, Superfilm collaborates with ORF and ARD, crafting a six-part mini-series titled Kafka. By: Theng Min Yee
Kafka is a joint production by Superfilm, ARD, and ORF, and its global distribution is managed by ORF-Enterprise. The ambitious project aims to vividly portray the life of the enigmatic 20th-century writer. Drawing inspiration from Reiner Stach's seminal three-volume Kafka biography, Stach himself serves as an expert consultant for the television venture. The script, a brainchild of Daniel Kehlmann, has been meticulously developed in tandem with director David Schalko.
The mini-series delves not only into Kafka's complex relationship with his domineering father but also explores his intriguing romantic entanglements with Felice Bauer, Milena Jesenská, and Dora Diamant. Additionally, it sheds light on Kafka's profound friendship with Max Brod, whose controversial actions ultimately propelled Kafka to worldwide fame. The stellar cast includes Joel Basman as Franz Kafka, David Kross as Max Brod, Nicholas Ofczarek as Hermann Kafka, and Liv Lisa Fries as Milena Jesenská. Principal photography concluded in spring 2023, with the broadcast slated for spring 2024 on ORF and ARD.
Oliver Böhm, CEO of ORF-Enterprise, expressed enthusiasm, emphasising the series' role in paying tribute to Kafka's enduring literary impact. "This extraordinary mini-series brings to life the enigmatic world of Franz Kafka, a writer whose influence resonates to this day," remarked Böhm.
Armin Luttenberger, Head of Content Sales at ORF-Enterprise, echoed the sentiment, praising the attention to detail in recreating Kafka's universe. Luttenberger anticipates that Kafka will serve as a distinguished addition to their catalogue, aligning seamlessly with their commitment to providing top-tier content.
Mag. Katharina Schenk, ORF Head of Television Film, expressed her satisfaction in being part of a project that centres on Franz Kafka's unique world. Schenk commended the perspective brought forth by Daniel Kehlmann and David Schalko, who present Kafka's life and work through the lens of two exceptional storytellers, offering a fresh perspective to a broad audience.
Jörg Schönenborn, ARD Coordinator Fiction, praised the collaborative effort involving ARD, ORF, and the outstanding project itself. Schönenborn lauded Kehlmann and Schalko for bridging the gap between Kafka's enigmatic work and the audience, predicting international acclaim for the endeavour.
Daniel Kehlmann, the writer behind the project, emphasized the timeliness of Kafka's visions, asserting that Kafka's nightmares resonate with contemporary reality. Kehlmann expressed gratitude for the opportunity to translate Reiner Stach's work into scripts and eagerly anticipated seeing them brought to life by the exceptional cast.
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